DDS Admissions FAQs

Listed below and are a number of frequently asked questions, or FAQ's, about the DDS program at College of Dental Medicine. Please note that these are designed as responses to general inquiries, and may differ slightly depending on the type of admission that you are seeking. If you are a transfer student, physician, medical student, or foreign-trained dentist, please contact the individuals below if you have additional questions.


Does Columbia award a DDS or a DMD degree?

Though there is no difference between the DDS and DMD, Columbia awards the traditional DDS degree.


Do you accept out of state applicants?

Columbia is a private school, and as such we make no distinction between in state and out of state applicants.


What is the application deadline?

The admissions office considers applications on a rolling basis beginning in June of the year prior to entry and concluding on December 31 of the year prior to matriculation. For example, a student wishing to enroll in September 2015 may submit their application from July 2014 until December 31, 2014. It is always in the applicant's best interests, however, to apply as early in the process as possible.


Can I take a tour of the school?

Tours are not given during admission season.  If you are invited for an interview, you will be given a tour of the school at that time.


How many applications does the school receive? How difficult is it to get in?

The College Of Dental Medicine received 2,453 applications for the DDS program in 2012-13. Nearly one in five AADSAS applications filed nationally was sent to Columbia. Of that number approximately three hundred eighteen were interviewed and 80 were enrolled.


Is work experience in a dental office required for admission to the school?

Work experience is not required for consideration or admission, but all applicants are expected to have strong background knowledge of and demonstrated interest in the dental profession.


What type of undergraduate degree do I need to apply?

Applicants are not required to major in the biological sciences as undergraduates. For specific information, see the DDS Admissions Requirements section.


Can I take my prerequisite courses at another school?

We accept course credit from any accredited U.S. college or university.


Will you accept my credits from a college or university in another country?

If these credits have been accepted already by a U.S. school (typically undergraduate school issuing you the Bachelor's degree) and appear on your official transcript, we will accept them. If you have not presented them yet for consideration, we will need to see a course-by-course evaluation from the World Education Service, www.wes.org.


I have taken a number of advanced science courses. Can I expect some of my CDM basic science classes to be waived?

No coursework will be waived.


Will CDM accept Canadian Grade 13 English to satisfy the English requirement?

Yes.


What about standardized test scores?

All applicants must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT).


Can I waive the DAT if I have taken the MCAT?

No.


Do you accept the Canadian DAT?

Yes, but we prefer the U.S. DAT


What undergraduate GPA do you require for admission?

There is no minimum GPA requirement, however 3.0 and above is desirable. The average GPA of the 2012-13 enrollees is 3.6.


What is the minimum DAT score of an incoming student at CDM?

We have no minimum or cut-off scores. The mean DAT score of the class entering in 2012 was 23, (the national average is roughly 18); however, the range varies from year to year.


I currently work for a dentist. Can she write one of my letters of recommendation?

While we will accept a letter from a dentist, it will not satisfy the requirement. We require three academic references.


Do I have to send my letters and transcripts to Columbia and AADSAS?

No. Letters of recommendation and transcripts should be submitted through AADSAS.  Additional letters of recommendation can be sent directly to CDM.


What is the size of the student body?

There are approximately 80 students enrolled in each DDS class.


What is the average age of your students?

The current average age of an entering CDM student is 23.


I have been out of school for quite some time, but would like to attend dental school. Is that frowned upon?

CDM encourages applications from non-traditional students.


Do I have to begin study in the fall? What about the spring?

All enrolled students must begin the DDS program in September; there is only one sitting for each academic year.


When can I expect to receive a decision on my application?

Because applications are considered on a rolling basis, there is no set date for releasing application decisions. All applicants are notified by email when the admissions office receives the AADSAS Application.


How can I check on the status of my application?

A candidate can check their application status online at the AADSA application portal.


Can I transfer into Columbia from another dental school?

On very rare occasions, we may have accepted a transfer student in the past. If you are considering a transfer from your current dental school, please contact us for additional information.


What about financial aid?

In-depth information about the College Of Dental Medicine's financial aid policies and procedures can be found at:

http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/student/finaid/


Will Columbia guarantee me housing?

In-depth information about the College Of Dental Medicine's health science housing policies and procedures can be found at:

http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/facilities-management/housing/housing